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all about crust - Forno Bravo Forum: The Wood-Fired Oven Community



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You will notice a new forum at the top of the main page called, "Ask Me Anything". This forum will be used for live one hour "Ask Me Anything" (AMA) sessions hosted by people who are knowledgeable in different areas pertaining to wood fired ovens. How it works:
- Each AMA will have a "sticky" thread where the community can post questions they would like answered during the live session. This will allow everyone to participate even if you can't be online for the live session. These questions will not be answered by the host until the live AMA; if you need an answer quickly, you should post it in the appropriate Forum area for the community to respond.
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To kick off our AMA feature, we have invited author, chef and master bread maker and host of Pizza Quest, Peter Reinhart, to be our first host! Peter will be in the Forum on Monday, February 15th, from 7:00 - 8:00 pm EST. If you are unable to be online during the live session, you can post your questions in the sticky post. Peter will answer those questions during the live session on February 15th. You can view Peter's answers to your questions as well as what happened during the live session in the session thread.

We hope you enjoy this new feature! Please let us know if there is a topic that you'd like to have as an AMA and we'll look for a host!

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all about crust

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  • all about crust

    HI all ...have been cooking with my FB Casa 2g since june...have experimented a lot on ingredients and recipes and have hosted big and small gatherings with much success....BUT my palate and need to get it right have me asking a few questions....i use molino caputo tipo 00 flour..weigh my ingredients ... 1000 G tipo 00...630-650 water at 110% 20 g salt 6 G ADY ....i combine yeast and some water first...let sit for 10 minutes then combine ingredients and mix in kitchen aide on low 2 minutes...let autolyse for 10 minutes then finish dough in mixer on 4 for 5 more minutes...remove to bowl ..let rise for 1.5 hours...punch down /cut balls and put in fridge overnight....my problem is i am not getting the cornichione in the edge crust..or lightness that i want...flavor is good tho. I heat oven with large fire of kiln dried wood...dome goes white , floor 700 -800 when cleared of coals..then i use san marzanos, cooked with herbs for 1 hr. to reduce water content...i use fresh mozz flown in from italy every friday from my fave cheese peeps.fresh basil, olive oil and go ...90 seconds to 2 minutes im done .... i could probably let cheese drain and sit longer to squeeze more moisture out..but my pizza isnt soggy...bottom is perfect...its the uncovered crust that is FLAT to me...i want chew ,not crisp crust....any help would be appreciated thanks all ...

  • #2
    Re: all about crust

    Normally the go to answer for more oven spring is more hydration and/or more hearth heat. In this case I see something a bit different. You say you are punching down the dough and then balling it and putting it in the fridge overnight. Pizza doughs are generally not punched down, especially if you want oven spring. What I think is happening is you are punching all the gas out of the dough, then balling it and putting it in the fridge. The cold fridge is great for enzymes and flavor, but not so good for yeast and fermentation. The yeast isn't able to make enough gas in the cold fridge to give you the spring you want.

    Personally I mix the dough with cold water and then it goes into the fridge in bulk. It comes out of the fridge and is balled prior to warming up then allowed to warm up and proof at that point prior to cooking.


    • #3
      Re: all about crust

      thanks Shu...i havent seen that in any recipes i have come across but will give it a decent try and post results...thanks for the quick reply...i know this is a learning process..but im usually ahead of the curve...thanks again B


      • #4
        Re: all about crust

        Here is a recipe that I have used for years. It is a wetter dough than most recipes. Whether cooked in the gas oven or in the wood fired oven, I get a ton of oven spring. While I always work with a fermented dough starter for breads, I have not found the need when making dough for pizza. I personally have had no luck using a kitchenaid type mixer to knead dough. I can never mix the dough enough to build up sufficient gluten. Hand kneading is the only thing that pays off. After 10 minutes of kneading, I let the dough rest for 15 minutes. Another five to ten minutes after that, I have a piece of dough that easily passes the window pane test. After the dough has risen, make sure that you treat the dough with the utmost of tender care. Use the tips of your fingers to press the dough into a cylinder. Then pick it up supporting the dough with the outside of your hands (palms down). Let gravity stretch to dough out even further. If you overwork the dough after the rise, you can promote the toughness that you are talking about.

        1 (1/4-oz) package active dry yeast (2 1/4 teaspoons)
        2 1/4 to 2 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour plus additional for kneading and dredging
        1 cup warm water (105 - 115F)
        1 teaspoon salt

        Make dough:
        Whisk together yeast, 1 tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water in a measuring cup and let stand until mixture develops a creamy foam, about 10 minutes. (If mixture doesn't foam, discard and start over with new yeast.)
        Stir together salt and 1 1/2 cups (7.5 oz) flour in a large bowl. Add yeast mixture and remaining 3/4 cup warm water and stir until smooth, then stir in another 1/2 cup (2.5 oz) flour. If dough sticks to your fingers, stir in just enough flour (up to 3/4 cup), a little at a time, to make dough just come away from side of bowl. (This dough may be wetter than other pizza doughs you have made.)
        Knead dough on a lightly floured surface with floured hands, lightly reflouring work surface and your hands when dough becomes too sticky, until dough is smooth, soft, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Divide dough in half and form into 2 balls, then generously dust balls all over with flour and put each in a medium bowl. Cover bowls with plastic wrap and let dough rise in a warm, draft-free place until doubled in bulk, 1 to 1 1/4 hours.
        Cooks' note:
        Dough can be allowed to rise slowly, covered, in the refrigerator for 1 day. Bring to room temperature before using.

        Makes 2 (10-inch) pizzas.


        • #5
          Re: all about crust

          like what im hearing....it certainly is an art...


          • #6
            Re: all about crust

            If you want a chewier crust try bread flour or add vital gluten. The flour you use needs to match the characteristics you need. King Arthur Bread Flour is a good place to start. Like Reinhart's Neo-Neopolitan dough, bread flour usually gets some oil to help if cooperate more with stretching but... you can go without oil too.


            • #7
              Re: all about crust

              i want chew ,not crisp crust....any help would be appreciated thanks all ...
              I'm thinking it's a handling issue. Everything else sounds good. I'm thinking you want to be more gentle with your dough at every step, particularly the final stretching. Try less mixing, less punching, and only the most minimal handling as you stretch the dough. You might also switch to instant yeast, which will cut out the proofing with warm water step, just mix it with the dry ingredients. Sometimes something as simple as yeast freshness makes the difference.

              And tusr18a, try cutting your yeast amount to about a quarter. You might be surprised at the results.
              My geodesic oven project: part 1, part 2


              • #8
                Re: all about crust

                Originally posted by bdfeen View Post
                my problem is i am not getting the cornichione in the edge crust..or lightness that i want...flavor is good tho.
                I go straight to the fridge with no proofing as well. I get a bigger cornice when the dough sits in the fridge for more than one night. I did three nights last time and I think that was about perfect.
                My Oven Thread:


                • #9
                  Re: all about crust

                  That looks and sounds familiar from my early days! I think you are overhandling the dough. How you construct and then handle the dough has an astoundingly huge effect on the finished product, like night and day.
                  First, that is A LOT of mixing, and it's really not necessary or even good. In the presence of water and rest, gluten will develop all on it's own. Try wetting the flour and yeast, (and consider bumping up your hydration to ~70something%), doing 20-30 minute autolyse/rest, then add salt and mix just until thoroughly combined. Let sit either in the bowl or on the counter covered with plastic, and with wet hands, do a stretch and fold on the N, S, E, W sides of the blob every 20 minutes for 1-2 hours. By that time you should have a dough that is starting to smooth out but not look "finished" by your normal standard. Stash in fridge overnight. When you're ready for pizzamaking, portion dough GENTLY with as little handling as possible. Don't punch it down, aka degas. Let it rest for a good bit before shaping. Alternately, you can portion after the stretch and fold period. I think the when of this step depends on the flour. Try both ways and see if you can tell a difference.
                  More of the same gentle gentle once you're ready to shape a pie. Try to degas as little as possible. If the dough begins to resist you even a little bit, it's a sign that you've overhandled it. Depending on the flour, this can be a permanent, fatal error or just a sign that you need to let the dough sit and relax for a bit. Caputo is extremely unforgiving of overhandling, IME. It's also lower protein than common bread flour, which means less chew. Overhandling makes it crackery. As has already been suggested, try a wetter dough, bread flour or adding gluten (which would be a total waste of that expensive Caputo, IMO). Nail down your technique with whatever bread flour is easiest for you to get and see what you think of the results, then start applying that same good technique to other flours to see what you prefer.


                  • #10
                    Re: all about crust

                    Hi bd...

                    My suggestion of bread flour is based specifically on your statement you wanted more chew.

                    I reread your first post... and it is in my experience almost impossible not to get a good cornicione. I can even roll my dough out with a rolling pin and I still get a good cornicione. Your yeast sounds suspect. You don't say how much it expands.... I agree you are probably overworking and overhandling the dough but I think there is more to it than that. You should be able to do anything you want to with the dough before you put it in the fridge and still get a reasonably airy dough.

                    Other than reducing the handling and following splatgirl's suggestions I would also suggest switching to IDY. Buy it by the pound and keep it in the freezer. That way you should never have any questions about your yeast.

                    Also...you don't say how long you let the balls warm before baking. Consider letting them rise a bit before baking. Splatgirl makes her pies from the balls straight from the fridge but she is using 75% hydration so her dough is all but unmanageable warm. (Don't go there until you are really comfortable with wet dough or you will risk a major mess!) There is no reason you shouldn't get a good, light cornicione from a 65% dough.

                    Good Luck!


                    • #11
                      Re: all about crust

                      well i am thankful to the forum for ALL of your input...i have a lot to try and substitute and subtract....i will be working it this week/weekend as i have a BIG halloween party planned and would like to have it nailed down...will let you know results and include pics ...thanks everyone for the help ...B


                      • #12
                        Re: all about crust

                        Help me as I am a fun novice cook of all types of foods.
                        I am sure this is stupid but what am I doing wrong to get such sticky dough?
                        I buy great ingredients, use the Forno Bravo stone, use a mixer, etc.


                        • #13
                          Re: all about crust

                          Post your formula and work flow and we can help you with your dough.


                          • #14
                            Re: all about crust

                            Thank you.
                            I use the recipe from the Forno Bravo website titled "using antico molino caputo tipo 00 pizza flour." I follow it in detail using a scale to make the dough rather than by volume. I also use a kitchen aid mixer.


                            • #15
                              Re: all about crust

                              Simplest solution is to drop the hydration to 60 percent or even 58 until you get your handling skills developed. Since you are from California I must assume your flour is relatively dry. In humid areas that can be a problem but for you it is unlikely.... So reduce the water to 300 grams (60 percent) or even 280 (56 percent). If that doesn't give you manageable dough you are doing something seriously strange in the interpretation of the recipe.